Joel 2:17-24

Joel 2:17

Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?


The priests and those who ministered in the temple were to weep between the porch and the altar.  The porch was located adjacent to the holy place and the altar was the front of the inner court.  It was where the priests congregated to perform their intercessory duties.  Those priests and ministers who came with a contrite heart were to petition the LORD in sincere repentance to spare the people and not allow the invading armies to take the people out of the land which the Lord gave them and that they should not be ruled over by the heathen.  The problem was that Israel and Judah were identifying with the very heathen that God wanted them to reject and never serve again.  They were to seek the LORD so he would not send them into captivity causing the heathen nations to proclaim “Where is their God?”  No doubt all these nations heard what God did to Egypt and to the heathen nations in Canaan when Israel crossed over after coming out of Egypt.  Now they will mock and ask if God left them or were all the stories true?  And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.  (Deuteronomy 28:37)  They will become a byword which can be understood as a joke or a taunt among the nations when they will become the captured people of Babylon and Assyria.


Joel 2:18

Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.


Once the people are sincere in their repentance from the heart and have disavowed all the false religions and idols then the LORD will once again be jealous over them, that is, protect them from all outside invaders and hostile nations.  He will have pity on his people knowing they are just dust who have went awry and were now returning home.  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.  (Psalm 103:14)  His people will once again be restored.


Joel 2:19

Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:


The LORD will then not only pity his people and have mercy on them but he will also restore their ability to grow things.  The locusts have eaten everything off the land and there was nothing left but now the LORD promises to remove the locusts and once again bless the land with agricultural blessings which will in turn bless their economy.  They shall also be satisfied with what the LORD would do for them.  The heathen nations that surrounded them made them prey for the taking and had mocked them by asking where was their God who brought them up from the land of Egypt and protected them.  All of this is contingent upon their true repentance and return to the LORD without any conditions.


Joel 2:20

But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.


God will also remove from them the threat of the invading army which may have been the Assyrians that would have invaded from the north for the purpose of capturing the ten northern tribes.  God would reverse their course and send them away from Samaria and their forward guard will be toward the Dead Sea which is the east sea.  The face is the front line or forward division of an army.  The utmost sea is the Mediterranean Sea.  The view here is that the Lord would rebuke the locusts and kill them thus leaving their bodies to decay which would cause a great stink to come up on the land.  It may also be pointing to the fact that God may destroy the Assyrian army and their dead bodies would also cause a great stench upon the land.  The final phrase in this verse speaks about great things which may be speaking of what the locusts have done by destroying entire nations.  It also may be speaking of God who has done great things in the past for the nation of Israel.  It may also be speaking of the Assyrian army which had done great things in the area of destroying nations.


Joel 2:21

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.


If we couple verse 21 with 20, we know then that the one doing the great things is the LORD himself.  He will be the one who will rebuke the locusts and allow the land to replenish and grow again.  He will also rebuke the Assyrian army and send them back to their home land but it is contingent upon the full repentance of Israel from their idolatrous ways.


Joel 2:22

Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.


The locust infestation not only affects the people of the land but it also affects the animals because if the locusts eat everything off the land, then the animals will have no food especially those who graze like horses and cattle.  Here God once again promises a revitalization of the land and he will reverse the judgment that he sent by means of the locusts and the promise of the Assyrian army in judgment.  The animals will once again be able to graze.


Joel 2:23

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.


The LORD is telling Israel to rejoice because he will do things for them that will restore them to their favored position.  The former rain will be the rains that come in the fall which would be around September and the latter rains will be the ones which comes in the spring. The first month is the month of Nisan which is part of March and part of April.  The word “moderately” carries with it the meaning of the right amount of rain at the right time. 


Joel 2:24

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.


God promises that the threshing floors would be filled with wheat and any other grains that they plant.  The wine vats which contain the wine from the grapes of the vine and the oils which would be Olive oil and also oils which are used for other things around the house.  There would be a great abundance of everything owing to the blessing of God.